Edit of 1 July 2008 to change transpartisan to non-partisan, add flyleaf notes from second reading, and delete observations found wanting by Amazon visitors.
This is without question a very important book, a companion to both Spoiling for a Fight: Third-Party Politics in America and Running On Empty: How The Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It. After a second reading, I now see this book as a primer in a class of its own and understand the author's background with greater appreciation.
One important comment: Both candidates are “keep the `bi-partisan' spoils system” alive candidates. They are of, by, and for the elites, and they are both out of touch with global reality such as depicted in A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. Barack Obama is a Manchurian candidate, a Trilateral Commission “House Negro” (as his own pastors of color have put it); see Obama – The Postmodern Coup: Making of a Manchurian Candidate for details.
Following my fly-leaf notes are a few observations, cut in half from my earlier review.
+ 75% of American voters are dissatisfied with the way things are going and generally do not trust either the political parties or the federal government–misery is at an all time high as is distrust
+ Voters “crave” real solutions
+ The time is right for a third party ticket, and the NYC race of Mayor Bloomberg in 2005 is the model
+ 3 out of 5 voters dislike BOTH parties
+ 61% feel they are not living the American dream
+ Being “on message” does not cut it–interaction and authentic tough focus on issues is demanded
+ Non-partisan solutions, with common sense, addressing tough problems, are demanded
+ Democracy in a crisis because the system itself lacks credibility (both political and federal)
+ Governor Schwarzenegger is on the right track
+ Half of all registered voters thing a 3rd party is a good idea
+ Restless & Anxious Moderates (RAM) are the swing vote
+ Fiscla discipline with a balanced budget, and being in touch with voter values, essential
+ Top two reasons people are Independents are both ANTI-PARTY: vote issues and candidate, not party
+ Parties are polarized, people are not
+ Need new fresh blood, open minds
+ 3rd parties are *not* odd man out, have a rich history
+ Ballot access is critical, needs 800,000 signatures
+ If not already done for the following states by today (1 July 2008), they are off the books: Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, Maine, Pennsylovania, Delaware (because of registration deadlines)
+ Internet blogging, YouTube, and texting (as well as ads to cell phones) have changed the dynamic
+ Democratic dirty tricks against Nader detailed (I am personally aghast–like Rove on McCain)
+ Nonpartisan Citizens Union could be a group to watch (see also Reuniting America)
+ Citing David Colarusso to Newsweek: “Web 2.0 has the potential to actually compel candidates to be genuine (page 141)
+ Independent must craft authentic grassroots citizen-based movement, field candidates for governor
+ Colin Powell is strongest candidate (author may not know Mrs. Powell has demanded, and received, a promise never to run), followed by Mike Bloomberg (I favor Powell back as Secretary of State, with his integrity this time)
+ Win or lose, a solid Independent candidacy will be able to influence the debate as well as the election (in the Electoral College, or in the House of Representatives) and lead a body of opinion thereafter.
FACT: Dick Cheney hijacked the White House and no one is willing to hold him accountable. BOTH the Democratic floormats and the Republican foot soldiers should be run out of office. I have no wish to impeach Dick Cheney. He simply needs to be removed from office and never again allowed to betray the public trust.
FACT: Congress abdicated its Article 1 responsibilities, a sin for which Al Gore especially culpable in failing to support the McKinney House resolution to re-do Florida. Every one of these folks merits an independent challenge.
The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Institutions of American Democracy)
Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders into Insiders
Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
In my view, Mike Bloomberg is the only truly credible independent, see my review of his own book, Bloomberg by Bloomberg. If I had one minute with Mike Bloomberg, this is what I would say:
1) Win or lose, you can *be* the catalyst for creating an “open books” alternative government at all levels
2) $20 each from 25 million Americans buys our government back, make it a subscription and we can migrate the new system to the rest of the world
3) A nonpartisan coalition sunshine cabinet, each person leading thousands of citizen wisdom councils focused on each Cabinet's respective areas of concern, will change the debate and inform America overnight
4) A balanced budget online, where everyone can debate and then see aggregated differences by zip code and party affiliation (anonymous otherwise) will enable strong leadership.